Girls: A Psychiatrist's Guide

For the women of Girls, it’s a rocky road to redemption; conquering their collective quarter life crisis is the least of their worries. I mean, what if these girls have serious issues? The story lines have been so tumultuous lately — from Hannah's amazing inability to grieve to Marnie's incredible uselessness — that most of the characters seem like sociopathic whiners. But a psychiatrist took the time to shrink Hannah, Jessa, Marnie and Shoshana properly and delivered a bit of interesting intel.

Over at Vulture, Dr. Paul Puri has weighed in on the characters.

On Ms. Horvath’s selfish reaction to her publisher dying:

In many ways, it does come down to empathy, and actually thinking about what other people are feeling. And she doesn't really do that a whole lot. That's part of what leads to her supposedly being a good writer, that she goes to these extremes and she's able to reflect on what she's feeling — but she doesn't actually go into what other people are feeling. The death episode seems like it really reflects her self-involvement. Anything that stirs up anxiety is so overwhelming, she has to attend to that, to the point that she's able to suppress it. And that is consistent with a real anxiety problem.

Jessa just doesn’t have time for people’s bullshit:

A sociopath is basically someone with no conscience, who gets enjoyment from hurting people. Is Jessa enjoying the chaos that she's creating? Maybe a little bit, but it's not clear that it's because she's making people suffer. The way she portrays it, she has a low tolerance for people's false selves. That's how she sees her own identity. But she's not physically hurting people or doing things like that. It's more like setting people up to feel close and then sabotaging things.

Marnie’s really just lonely:

But she herself is very much without grounding at this point in the season, and she's floating around looking for attention anywhere she can get it, probably because she feels so alone and without any real relationships. Twice, we've seen her sing in front of people, ostensibly as a tribute to someone else, when she's really just trying to get attention for herself. The comedic parallel of that would be Jenna on 30 Rock, who is very histrionic. And Marnie is like a very minor, minor version of that.

Shoshanna is the most together:

There's less to talk about with Shoshanna, because she doesn't seem in crisis. She's someone who is actively pursuing her goals, and even though she's pretty immature, she's slowly growing.